The Art of Darkness


August 31st, 2015 by Cobwebs

“A young girl witnesses the murder of her family by a mysterious killer. Now she must try to survive before the killer finds her.”

This award-winning horror short film is the product of a successful Kickstarter.

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The Link Dump of Hill House

August 28th, 2015 by Cobwebs

The Best Pumpkin Beers – Thrillist has a review of 21 pumpkin beers.

Dead 7 – It somehow escaped my notice that the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC were teaming up to make a wild west zombie movie. Huh. (via WitchArachne)

Nightfall Miniatures – Etsy shop specializing in BDSM dollhouse furniture. Where else are you going to find itty-bitty butt plugs?

Black Harry Potter Characters – “There’s an unspoken rule in literature: Characters are white unless explicitly described otherwise.” This has some great artwork that shows that shouldn’t be the case.

Shark Blanket – Pattern for a crocheted blanket that makes the wearer look like they’re being devoured by a shark.

Centaur – This made me guffaw.

Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs – Amazingly intricate statues covered with preserved beetles.

The Pogues Whiskey – Venerable punk band The Pogues is launching its own Irish whiskey label. I believe its best use would be in the Fairytale of New York cocktail.

Delta of Venus – NSFW! (Really; even the intro page is NSFW.) Site devoted to vintage erotica, from Victorian lesbian porn to 50s pinups.

Cecilia’s Sugar Art – Etsy shop featuring amazingly lifelike sugar-sculpture tarantulas, spring hammock spiders, and other creatures. The artist also sells polymer clay versions of some items.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Halloween Advent Calendar

August 27th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Halloween Advent CalendarThis is such a neat idea, and the execution is gorgeous. It’s a customized advent calendar by aptly-named Etsy shop Halloween Advent House: Each window and door opens to reveal a different spooky drawing, and the whole thing lights up at night (there are additional photos on Etsy). The house includes a plexiglass “sky” featuring a full moon and a custom message. It is a work of art.

The single sticking point is that it’s $1795US, which puts it beyond the budget of many a Halloween addict. Darn it, it’s always something.

If you’re feeling ambitious, it might be possible to DIY something similar using a wooden dollhouse kit; it’d still be fairly expensive–suitably large kits run close to $200–but the cost would be a little easier to bear and you could decorate it however you fancied.

There are dozens of kits available; some that aren’t outrageously expensive and seem to have a sufficient number of windows/doors include Greenleaf’s Beacon Hill and Pierce models, Real Good Toys’ Bostonian and Newport, Superior’s Queen Anne, and (my favorite) Laser Design’s Leon Gothic.

Since the dollhouses have more depth, you could put actual miniature monsters behind the doors and windows rather than artwork (or print designs of your choice on thin acetate and glue them in place). There are plenty of Halloween-themed miniature decorations for dollhouses, so once you’re finished with the interior you could expand your house’s grounds with a family graveyard and spooky trees. (Now that I think about it, an advent graveyard would be kind of cute too; assign a number to each tombstone and open a different grave each day.)

It’s certainly an elaborate project, but it would be a fun family activity to build your own haunted dollhouse and then use it every October to count down the days to Halloween.

(via Spooky Moon)

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

Singing Pumpkins

August 26th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Singing PumpkinsI recently ran across a HauntForum post about The Singing Pumpkin, which sells animations that can be projected on uncarved pumpkins to make them appear to be singing Jack-o’-lanterns. It’s a neat idea, but since all they’re selling is the animation (they don’t license the song, so you have to supply that yourself), it made me wonder if there were any DIY versions out there.

Indeed there are! There’s a fantastic Instructable by David Andora which goes into detail about the materials and equipment you’ll need. Halloween Underworld also has some tips on setup and some specific information on connecting the projector.

Both of those tutorials use commercial animations by AtmosFEAR or Window Creeps, but if you’d rather do the animation yourself check out Karlfalcon’s video on DIY pumpkin animation; briefly, you film yourself in Jack-o’-lantern makeup and then do some video processing. There seems to be some free downloadable animations as well, like these at MP3li. (They may be ripped copies of commercial products, in which case, don’t pirate, kids!)

It’d be expensive to buy the projector and other equipment needed for this illusion, but if you’ve already got that stuff (or have been looking for an excuse to buy it) this would be a really arresting addition to a Halloween yard display.

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Bad Halloween Jokes

August 25th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Last week when I posted about the Halloween version of Christmas crackers, I mentioned the fact that the crackers traditionally include jokes. Several enthusiastic commenters replied that they couldn’t be just any jokes, they had to be really, really bad jokes. Intrepid commenter KJ asked, “There must be some great Halloween jokes to use. What are the chances of a cringe-worthy Halloween joke post?”

Ask and ye shall receive. (This oughta teach you not to ask.)

What is the most important subject a witch learns in school?

Why are ghosts so bad at lying?
Because you can see right through them!

What is a vampire’s favorite fruit?

Why do vampires need mouthwash?
They have bat breath.

What do ghosts serve for dessert?
Ice Scream.

What did one ghost say to the other ghost?
“Do you believe in people?”

Why can’t ghosts have babies?
All the boys have Hollow weenies.

How does a girl vampire flirt?
She bats her eyes.

Why don’t mummies take vacations?
They’re afraid they’ll relax and unwind.

When does a skeleton laugh?
When something tickles his funny bone.

Why do ghouls and demons hang out together?
Because demons are a ghoul’s best friend.

What do you call two spiders who just got married?

What kind of ghosts haunt chicken coops?

Why are most monsters covered in wrinkles?
Have you ever tried to iron a monster?

What is a mummy’s favorite kind of music?

What would you find on a haunted beach?
A sand-witch.

Why couldn’t the ghost see its mom and dad?
Because they were trans-parents!

Which monster is the best dancer?
The boogey-man!

What would you get if you crossed a vampire and a teacher?
Lots of blood tests!

What do you get when you cross a black cat with a lemon?
A sour-puss.

Why was the cannibal who was expelled from school?
He was buttering up his teacher.

How do you fix a jack-o-lantern?
With a pumpkin patch.

What do you call dead cows that come back to life?

What goes “Ha-ha-ha . . . THUD!”
A monster laughing his head off

Why wouldn’t the skeleton cross the road?
He didn’t have the guts

Got any others? Leave ’em in the comments!

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »


August 24th, 2015 by Cobwebs

In this lovely short animation, Death finds a newly-dead soul and takes him on a journey to see “many things.” The film has won numerous awards and was shortlisted for an Oscar. (Barely NSFW for cartoon nudity.)

(via Neatorama)

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The Remains of the Link Dump

August 21st, 2015 by Cobwebs

Lou Lou P’s Delights – Bakery which produces all sorts of wonderful baked goods like internal organ-shaped macarons and–be still, my heart–a sculpted-sugar naked mole rat.

Snake Back Strap Dress – Attractive gown featuring a golden snake down the spine.

Elvira Will Return in Animated Television Series – Change that to “will probably return.” Cassandra Peterson was at the Boston Comic Con and announced that she was working on an animated Elvira series. No other details or timing, though.

Shark Bite You Earrings – Cute polymer clay earrings that make it look like a teensy shark is nomming your earlobe.

Canis Picta – Etsy shop specializing in pop-art prints and home decor, including some fun spooky stuff like spiderweb wall clocks, pumpkin throw pillows, and NMBC duvets.

We Hope That Helps – A couple of guys created a generic “Customer Service” Facebook profile and respond insultingly to complaints on various companies’ Facebook pages.

Unreal Estate – Series of glow-in-the-dark art prints of famous fictional buildings like Bag End and Ghostbusters HQ. I’m linking to an article about the pieces rather than the actual store/site because several of the links seem to be borked.

Electric Love Potato – A desktop assistant in the form of “an inappropriately large digital potato that throbs, looms and chirrups in the corner of your display for as long as you let it run.” BoingBoing discusses it here.

Scales of the Luckdragon – Neat handmade “dragon scale” necklace.

Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks – Free knitting pattern for stripey socks with a (reasonably) subtle skull-and-crossbones design on the cuff.

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Creepy Crackers

August 20th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Finished CrackerChristmas crackers are part of traditional holiday celebrations in the UK, Australia, and several other countries.* They consist of a cardboard tube filled with candy and novelties (usually including a paper crown and a fortune cookie-type strip of paper with jokes), a strip of thin cardboard containing the same chemical that makes popguns go bang, and a wrapping of tissue paper. When the ends of the tissue are pulled, the cardboard thingie makes a cracking noise and you harvest the treats inside.

There’s no reason why these things have to be limited to Christmas. I can think of another holiday that’s big on treats. Can’t you?

You will need:

  • Cardboard tubes; empty toilet tissue rolls are the perfect size
  • Cracker snaps (see below)
  • Small novelties and candy
  • Tissue paper (see below)
  • Narrow ribbon
  • Halloween-themed stickers (optional)

Cracker snaps can be purchased at some craft stores and online. I actually found a children’s activity kit on Amazon which included the cracker snaps, paper crowns, and jokes for cheaper than I could buy just the cracker snaps.

You can find all kinds of wonderful Halloween-themed wrapping paper meant for scrapbooking; I actually created this post as a way to use up some Halloween scrapbook paper I’d been given and…I can’t find the stinkin’ paper anywhere. So I just used plain tissue paper and you can too.

Click the thumbnails for larger images.

Cracker Strips

Make sure that the cardboard tubes you use are short enough to let the cracker snaps extend out both sides. Toilet tissue rolls work great; if you have long tubes (like those for paper towels), cut them in half.

Cracker Goodies

Gather whatever small novelties and candies you want to fit in the tube.

Add Strip

Place the cracker snap in the tube with ends extending out both sides, and pack the treats on top.

Wrap Tissue

Cut a piece of tissue paper wide enough to enclose the ends of the cracker snap and long enough to roll around the tube a few times. Roll everything up, and pinch in around the outside of the tube.

Finished Cracker

Tie the ends with ribbon, making sure to securely enclose the ends of the cracker snap inside. If desired, decorate the outside of the cracker with stickers or other lightweight items.


And…done! The ends of my cracker are a bit wrinkly; for more precise edges with only a bit more work, check out Chica and Jo’s tutorial for making Christmas crackers.

These are easy to make and a pile of them would be a big hit at a Halloween party.

*But not in the US. When I was in fifth grade my dad returned from a business trip with a bunch of crackers for me to hand out to my classmates. My teacher made me wait until after lunch because he didn’t want everyone spoiling their appetites by eating them; he was deeply perplexed when I told him they weren’t those kind of crackers.

Posted in Bittens, Doom It Yourself | 6 Comments »

Caption This

August 19th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Caption This

Long ago, an SF blog I ran had a monthly “caption this” contest: We’d post a screen grab from a (usually cheesy) movie and invite commenters to invent their own captions. This publicity still from the 1959 version of The House on Haunted Hill seems like a good candidate for such treatment; I love how stiltedly-posed it looks.

I will turn it over to your tender mercies: If you have a good caption, post it in the comments!

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »

“In Case of Emergency” Desktop Plaque

August 18th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Emergency Chocolate30 Minute Crafts has a cute tutorial for making an “in case of emergency” desktop plaque filled with candy. It’s easy to put together, and if you don’t feel like using glass-etching paste you can use vinyl letters as in this version.

It strikes me that this would be a fun Halloween-themed gift, either filled with candy corn for a more thematic version of the idea above, or with non-candy Halloween items. Change the message to something like, “In case of Halloween yearnings break glass” and fill it with plastic spiders, novelty vampire fangs, little skulls, or other spooky tchotchkes.

You could also use the same idea for an “in case of vampires break glass” plaque containing a small stake (a piece of sharpened dowel would work) and a plastic head of garlic. Make a “workplace voodoo kit” containing a little burlap poppet and some big hatpins. Or stick in some hair dye, black lipstick, and eyeliner for an “in case of pastels” emergency kit.

This would be a fun afternoon project to make a unique accent for a desk or bookshelf.

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

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